There are too many contradictions, gaps, inconsistencies in the Riley Kern case to allow anyone with any sense of decency or any trace of compassion to rest easy. While we can’t answer all questions in such a tragic event we can at least try to be honest and thorough in answering those that are answerable. We can at least meet our obligations to come forward and speak the truth. We can at least do our best to connect the dots and minimize doubt and with doubt mistrust. None of this has been done in Riley’s case, at least as far as our investigations and informants have shown. Here’s where we are as of today.
Riley Kern was 19 at the time of the accident. Riley Kern’s funeral was on his 20th birthday. Riley Kern, although just before his death, was living with his mother and sister in Kansas, was a local boy. Riley Kern grew up in the RCS area and even attended Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk high school. Riley Kern’s father, Paul Gumpher, still lives in Climax, New York.
A group of local young people loved and respected Riley to such an extent that they got together and made the trip to Kansas to pay their respects and say a last farewell to Riley at his funeral. For all we have to say about today’s young people, that gesture of loyalty and love struck at even our heart chords. There’s no words to say that would do them the credit they deserve but Thank you! You really did Good!
We are asking Travis Hagen: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?
A local man, Travis D Hagen, 48 years old, formerly of Ravena, New York, now residing in the Greene County hamlet of Coxsackie, just south of Ravena, has all but disappeared from the radar. Hagen didn’t have the decency even to express his condolences to Riley’s family at the death of their son, a death caused or at least contributed to by Hagen. Hagen is even avoiding the insurance investigators in the case. This raises the obvious question of: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?
Travis Hagen, 48, was driving a 2007 GMC pick-up truck on State Route 143 at the junction of County Route 106 (Tompkins Road) in front of the Sycamore Country Club. We might ask what Hagen was doing out there in the early evening hours of Friday, July 27, 2018, so far from Coxsackie on a sultry summer’s evening. There’s not a lot out there at that time of day except perhaps some friends and some brews. Informants share with us that Travis does like his brew. More on this later.
Informants also tell us that there is an annual Terrry Hagen Golf Tournament held at the Sycamore County Club, and that the elder Hagen , now dead, was a popular denizen at the country club and an avid golfer. Dots are starting to connect, aren’t they?
Well, the Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tourny was held at the Sycamore Country Club on August 18, 2018, so it’s reasonable to suggest that Travis Hagen was at the Sycamore Country Club taking care of “business” over a couple of brews, planning or finalizing details of the golf tourny. Sound reasonable to you? Why else would anyone be in that desolate area on a Friday evening? Now, an investigator would certainly have to question the staff at the Sycamore about Hagen’s being there that evening and what he was doing. Doncha think?
One person killed, NO accident reconstruction, and NO police photos taken.
The NYS DMV Police Accident Report (MV-104A (6/04) shows the accident to have occurred on July 27, 2018, a Friday, at 6:22 p.m. One person killed, no accident reconstruction, and no police photos taken. That’s a bit irregular. Although our research with the National Weather Service shows that July 27, 2018, was generally sunny/partly cloudy with a high of 86 and a low of 67, there is no mention of weather conditions in the police report. Wouldn’t you think that would be important? Not according to Patrolman Ian Foard of the Coeymans Police Department, the “investigator” at the scene.
Back to the Police Report: In the Accident Description/Officer’s Notes section of the report, Riley’s vehicle is referred to as V1 and Hagen’s vehicle as V2, in the extract of the Police Report below, we are transcribing V1 to Riley and V2 as Hagen . Foard writes:
“Riley was traveling around a curve at high speed and Riley lost control of the vehicle and laid his motorcycle down. Hagen was traveling Northbound [sic] on Route 143 and as Riley came around the curve it (V1 or V2? Riley or Hagen ?) traveled into the Northbound lane in front of Hagen. Hagen swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley. Riley was ejected and struck the rear driver side of Hagen’s vehicle. Riley’s vehicle traveled under Hagen ’s causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen s vehicle and eventually ending up behind Hagen ’s vehicle. Riley did pass away from crash-related injuries at Albany Medical Center.”
According to Patrolman Ian Foard, he was the last official to arrive at the accident scene after the EMTs arrived. So where did he get all of this information? Foard’s entry in the form is undated but the report shows that it was “reviewed by” Daniel Contento (acting Police Chief, Coeymans PD) on August 7, 2018, eleven (11) days after the accident, not including the day of the accident! eleven days later. The accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. on July 27, 2018. Riley died at Albany Medical Center shortly after 10 p.m.
Only one “eye witness” is given in the report (we’re withholding that person’s name for now), who was allegedly mowing his “yard” according to Foard. Our visit to the scene would complicate that witness’ claim to having been an “eye witness” because the only property near the scene is to the South and the site of the accident would have been impaired by bushes. But the eye-witness named in the Police Report by Foard and claimed by Foard to have been “mowing his yard” at the time of the accident, is a big problem. You see, the so-called eye-witness lives on Alcove Road — and we are assuming that’s where his “yard” is —, some 4 miles distance from the accident site!
But that’s the least of the problems with Foard’s very late report. In fact, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 22, § 605. Report required upon accident reads (in pertinent part):
“(a) 1. Every person operating a motor vehicle, except a police officer (as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law ), a correction officer, or a firefighter, operating a police department, a correction department, or fire department vehicle respectively while on duty, if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle, which is in any manner involved in an accident, anywhere within the boundaries of this state, in which any person is killed or injured, or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself, in excess of one thousand dollars is sustained, shall within ten days after such accident, report the matter in writing to the commissioner.”
“2. Failure to report an accident as herein provided or failure to give correctly the information required of him by the commissioner in connection with such report shall be a misdemeanor and shall constitute a ground for suspension or revocation of the operator’s (or chauffeur’s) license or all certificates of registration for any motor vehicle, or of both, of the person failing to make such report as herein required. In addition, the commissioner may temporarily suspend the driver’s license or permit or certificate of registration of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, or of both, of the person failing to report an accident within the period prescribed in paragraph one of this subdivision, until such report has been filed. However, no suspension or a revocation shall be made of a license or certificate of registration of any police officer, correction officer, or firefighter involved in an accident while on duty for failure to report such accident within ten days thereof if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle.”
“(c) The report required by this section shall be made in such form and number as the commissioner may prescribe.”
The law is clear on the reporting requirement and the time for reporting. In fact, in the next section, it actually states at VTL § 606. Processing of required reports:
“The commissioner [the DMV], when processing reports of accidents filed pursuant to this article, shall give priority to reports involving serious physical injury (as defined in subdivision ten of section 10.00 of the penal law ) or death.”
The investigating officer, when making his report, is an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, that is, the “Commissioner” in the laws. Accordingly, if there is serious physical injury or death involved, the officer is to give “priority” to the report. But it took the Coeymans Police Department eleven (11) days just to get the report written and reviewed! No one is going to tell us that the Coeymans Police Department is that overworked and understaffed that it takes 11 days to fill out a form! Incompetence and indifference; criminal obstruction!
Not only is the police report late and in violation of the law, it is incomplete and inaccurate!
First of all, Patrolman Foard and Sgt Daniel Contento apparently can’t read or understand the clear labels on the form. For example, in the section “Vehicle Model” the form actually gives examples, such as “Mustang, Corvette” but Foard (Contento) insert “Motorcycle” for Vehicle 1 (V1, Riley) but “Sierra” for Vehicle 2 (V2, Hagen).
In the “Emergency Medical Services” the form requires times (in military notation; we are converting to conventional time notation here). EMS was “Notified at 6:24” and “Arrived at the scene at 6:26 p.m.” The form shows that the EMS “Arrived (with Riley) at hospital” at 7:05 p.m. We don’t find those times to be believable.
First of all, any 911 calls go through the Albany County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center in Albany, who then take down the details and relay them to the appropriate First Responders. That alone should take several minutes. Then the First Responders have to get their acts together and get to the scene, which will take another several minutes, at least. But the accident, according to the report happened at 6:22 p.m. If we are to believe the accident report, the accident was reported after the accident occurred, naturally, that is, after 6:22 p.m., the 911 dispatcher contacted the local EMS, who then got all their information and gear, and personnel together and got to the scene at 6:26. That’s in less than 4 minutes!!! Do you believe that?
That raises yet another question: How long did it take anyone to make the 911 call once the accident occurred?
But it took them about 45 minutes to get the dying boy to Albany Medical Center! And that’s assuming the ambulance arrived at the very same moment as the EMS, which is unlikely because they were also busy trying to decide whether to medevac (Lifeline) Riley to the hospital, a decision that fell through the cracks due to “thunderstorms” in the area (Thunderstorms? No mention of these in the National Weather Service reports. Rain, maybe, but no thunderstorms in Albany County on July 27, 2018).
Back to the report: Patrolman Foard writes that the first point of impact on Riley’s motorcycle was at point 11, the left door. We weren’t aware that motorcycles, much less Riley’s bike, had left doors but maybe Patrolman Foard and Sgt Contento know more about this than we do.
Besides, if you are filling out a form, you’d indicate everything you need to indicate, wouldn’t you? It’s all done half-assed, as usual in Coeymans! We’ve always said, ”You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”
Editor’s Note: New Law in New York: Serious Accidents to Trigger Mandatory Sobriety Tests in New York. The new law expands the responsibilities of police officers who are first responders to the scene of a motor vehicle accident if the collision either caused a serious injury or caused a death. Now, among the responsibilities that police have as they investigate the cause of the accident is a responsibility to assess whether the driver was in violation of state traffic law or not. Under the previous rules related to field sobriety testing, the laws in New York stipulated that it was up to the discretion of the officer to determine if a person should be tested for impairment. The new rule simplifies and streamlines the system and ensures that drivers don’t simple evade the law when a death or a serious injury happens.
According to New York State Senator Pamela Helming, who was one of the bill’s sponsors, indicated that” “Individuals need to be held accountable for their choices, especially when it leads to the death or serious injury of someone else.” Helming also warned: “Eliminating loopholes in the current law that allow drivers under the influence to escape prosecution at the expense of someone else’s life is a start.” With new evidence available to demonstrate intoxication after serious accidents, victims should be better able to pursue claims for compensation against those who caused collisions while drunk. A New York City car accident law firm can provide help to victims in taking action.
The bill was signed into law on December 18, 2017, and went into effect 30 days after signing.
Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are.
The accident happened on State Route 143 40 ft South of what Foard calls Tompkins Road. The roadway Foard is referring to, apparently, is County Route 106. Tompkins Road is not the roadway’s DOT real designation but is the street name used by locals and the Sycamore Country Club in its address, but then the Sycamore Country Club is located in the hamlet of Coeymans Hollow, not in Ravena! Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are. Foard can almost be forgiven, being from Mechanicville and given his history (see below, Editor’s Aside].
The narrative text also states that Riley was “traveling around a curve at high speed.” How does anyone know that as a fact. Foard himself admits that he was the last to arrive on the scene, after the EMS. The eye witness named in the Police Report was “mowing his yard” and lives on Alcove Road. OK. Maybe Foard can explain how a guy mowing his lawn 4 miles away could see the accident? That guy must have one hell of a set of eyes! Or has Foard left something out? What’s your guess?
In the narrative (text) description of the accident, Foard notes that Hagen’s truck sustained “damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle” but Foard does not indicate that damage in the diagram! This raises the question of whether Foard was able to crawl under Hagen’s vehicle to inspect it and on what grounds Foard determined the damage to be caused at the time of the accident. We don’t think that a part-time patrolman has that expertise. Do you?
Foard makes an interesting commitment as to the sequence of the events: He writes that Riley “laid his motorcycle down” indicating that Riley was actually in control of his vehicle and took the emergency measure of putting the cycle into a skid to avoid the accident. This in no way would indicate that Riley “lost control of the vehicle” as Foard speculates in his narrative. Foard was not there and given the situation, it’s unlikely that any witness would be able to state with certainly that Riley lost control of his motorcycle.
Foard then writes that Hagen “swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley.” This is the black letter written narrative that likely went through some editing and, if anything had to be changed before or after Contento “reviewed” and passed the report, that something would have been changed. As it now reads, Hagen struck Riley, not the other way around!
In this narrative the sequence continues: Riley was “ejected and struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s vehicle. According to the damage diagram in the Police Report, Foard indicates in the Damage Codes for Riley’s vehicle: Point of impact 11 (left, driver side door), “Most Damage”: 8 (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: 14, undercarriage; 5, passenger side door (or right side of vehicle), and 11, driver side door (or left side of vehicle).
Foard indicates Damage Codes for Hagen’s vehicle: : “Point of impact 1” (left, front headlight/fender), “Most Damage: 8” (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: “1”, (left, front headlight/fender); “”10”, driver side door (or right side of vehicle), and “12, driver side front panel (or left front side of vehicle). But this doesn’t seem right because the pictures taken by an EMS person do not show Driver-side damage at all!
Nothing in Foard’s report seems to agree. And it was reviewed by acting police chief Sgt Contento, and released to the Department of Motor Vehicles! How embarassing!
(Photo Credits: Thomas Marra)
When asked about this, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that the only damage he documented was on the passenger door side, a dent, probably from impact (how else would you get a dent like that shown in the image?) When questioned further, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that if there were no damage he would not have photographed it; there was not damage on the left side, the driver’s side, of Hagen’s vehicle, according to this EMS photographer/journalist.
So this information, along with Foard’s statements in the Police Report actually damage any credibility of the Coeymans Police investigation, if there were any investigation at all, and contradict or rule out most of what Foard writes in his report!
Here’s some other information that creams Foard’s report. The manufacturer’s specs for the 2007 GMC Sierra driven by Hagen give a front ground clearance of 9.1 inches. The rear ground clearance for this vehicle is 12.1 inches, or an average of 10.6 inches along the length of the vehicle.
The 2008 Buel motorcycle driven by Riley has a width of about 29” and a length of about 78 inches. Given the condition of the motorcycle as shown in the pictures taken at the accident scene, and given Foard’s report saying that Riley’s motorcycle “struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s pickup truck” and then “traveled under Hagen’s vehicle[,] causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle[,] and eventuallyending up behind Hagen’s vehicle.” Given the specs of the two vehicles, you think the cycle would have been a mangled mess. It wasn’t — at least not until Burn’s Towing got their hands on it. (Click the link to view the insurance investigator’s photos.)
True to local scoundrel form, Burns + Sons Auto Repair & AAA Towing in Ravena (2537 US 9W Ravena, NY 12143 ) didn’t waste a minute getting their hands into Riley’s family’s pockets. We have learned that Burns charged the family more than $1800 ($300 for “towing” the motorcycle and $65/day for storage)! Good Lord! The cycle weighs only about 350 lbs and two men could lift it onto a pickup bed! Thank you! Burns & Sons Towing (Ravena) for confirming everything we have ever had to say about local crooks!
There’s more, much more but we won’t share it until we confirm and vet it. Stay tuned!
This is one of a long series of botched investigations that have become the hallmark of the Coeymans Police Department. It’s not only that they are incompetent and too arrogant to call in real professionals from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police, their incompetence and arrogance has and is continuing to cause good people a lot of unnecessary suffering. On top of all that, we as taxpayers are paying for this incompetence and abuse! How stupid can it possibly get?!?
Editor’s Aside — Some Notes on Coeymans Patrolman Ian FOARD
It appears part-time Coeymans patrolman Ian FOARD comes to Coeymans from the Mechanicville PD, and he brings a bit of baggage with him.
At the regular meeting of the Mechanicville City Council on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Mayor Baker and the Mechanicville City Council appointed Ian Foard to the position of full-time desk-officer at a rate of $13.47/h (Resolution #20-14)
According to the official minutes of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting of March 22, 2018 Mr. Foard was appointed to the position of Probationary Part-Time Police Officer effective March 26, 2018. Foard’s appointment was contingent upon Foard’s signing a personal services contract with the Town of Coeymans and his paperwork being filed with the Human Resource Clerk. According to the minutes, Foard would be compensated at the rate designated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Resolution #063-18). At that same meeting, Sgt Daniel Contento was appointed acting Police Chief (Resolution #062-18).
The Albany Times Union reported on January 25, 2018, that Ian Foard was one of five Mechanicville police department employees who filed a multiple-charge complaint with the Mechanicville Human Resources Officer alleging multiple abuses by Mechanicville Mayor Baker. Foard alleges in the complaint that when Foard was dealing with a personal family matter, Mayor Baker allegedly told Ian Foard, that his father is “disgusting, weird” because he is transgender. Baker allegedly told Foard “every mistake you’ve made was because of your dad.”
The 5-page complaint was filed with the Commissioner of Accounts Kimberly Dunn who acts as the city’s human resource officer and city clerk. It was signed by Police Benevolent Association officers President Alexander Dunn, Vice President Matthew Dunn, Foard, the bargaining unit’s treasurer, and Rabbitt, the union’s secretary. Both Alexander Dunn and Matthew Dunn are the City Clerk’s, Kimberly Dunn’s sons; the rumor is that the Dunn boys were put up to the complaint by momma Dunn, who has her eye on the mayor’s office.
Later, on July 12, 2018, the Albany Times Union reports that the charges against Mayor Baker were dropped, and that Mechanicville Police Chief Police Chief Joseph Waldron “retired,” “retired” usually used to pretty up the fact of “resigned.”
Ian Foard subsequently resigned or was terminated from employment with the City of Mechanicville Police Department and was later hired as a part-time patrolman by the Town of Coeymans.
We have requested information from the City of Mechanicville relating to FOARD’s termination or separation.
See the extract from the complaint filed by FOARD and others, below.
This is not an isolated incident with the Cold-Case Coeymans Police Department. We’ve been covering stories on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the most recent articles we’ve run about the a dysfunctional law enforcement mistake:
Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!
More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations.
We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!
Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?
Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?
Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!
Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS
Click this link to read Riley’s mom’s response to detractors of Smalbany: Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.
 Motorcycle accidents involving a lay–down by the operator of the motorcycle means that when the motorcyclist experiences a sudden emergency and he decides to lay down the bike rather than collide with another object. Because of the suddenness of the hazard, the rider applies the brakes and the bike slides on its side.